Photo: Chuck Bowman
Photo by Chuck Bowman


                           The Religion Network
                        Inspirational Quotes for the Day.


TODAY'S INSPIRATIONAL THEME: Prelude to Thanksgiving
This page changes each weekday.

    At the top of the Home Page:
    --The breath of His love
    --William Shakespeare

    Midway down the page:
    --A Nation of Thanksgivng: a history of the holiday
    --Thankful for everything

    For Prayer Warriors who scroll down:
    --A hymn from the 19th century

           And the Last Word: God as a beggar
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And now, the Last Word:
Bonus quote: --Children, one earthly Thing, truly
experienced, even once, is enough for a lifetime.

Rainer Maria Rilke
German poet
Photo by Chuck Bowman
we thank you for all your gifts.
This day, this night,
These fruits, these flowers,
these trees, these waters---
With all these treasures
you have endowed us.
The heat of the sun,
the light of the moon,
the songs of the birds
and the coolness of the breeze,
The green, green grass
like a mattress of velvet.
All owe their existence to your grace.
Dear God, may we forever breathe
the breath of your love
And every moment be aware
of your presence above.

Pakistan prayer
From "Bless This Food" by Adrian Butash
Delacorte Press,1993
O Lord, that lends me life,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
part one: the early days of Thanksgiving

It may be significant to note that Thanksgiving,
a day dedicated to giving thanks to the Lord, is our
oldest American holiday.

While most Americans think of the Pilgrim's
Thanksgiving feast in 1621 (envision six year olds
in construction paper pilgrim head dresses) as the
first Thanksgiving, some historians believe that the
Popham Colony in Maine held a service of Thanksgiving
in 1607. We do know that in 1607, Jamestown colonists
gave thanks for their safe arrival to the New World,
and did so again in 1610 when a supply ship reached
them after a very harsh winter. And the Berkley Hundred
settlers actually wrote into their charter that the day of
their arrival in Virginia should annually be observed as a
day of Thanksgiving. However,  those celebrations were eliminated a few years later
after an Indian uprising.

Here's a "Did you know?" Aside from saying grace, those early puritanical Pilgrims actually
non-religious Thanksgiving feasts. Their belief system rejected public religious displays.
Instead, they ate, drank liquor and played games. And you thought they were so stiff-necked.

During 1623, the Pilgrims at Plymouth Plantation, Massachusetts, suffered a season of drought.
Their crops dying, they prayed and fasted for rain. It arrived a few days later. Shortly after,
Captain Miles Standish landed at the colony with supplies and with the wonderful news that a
Dutch supply ship was also en route. On July 30th of that year, the relieved Pilgrims observed
a day of thanksgiving and prayer. Their act of combining the religious and social aspects of
thanksgiving more accurately is the forerunner of our observances today.

For the next 100 years or so, days of Thanksgiving occurred throughout the young nation
somewhat sporadically and always on a local or regional level. Often they were largely autumn
harvest festivals. However, in 1777, Samuel Adams and Richard Henry Lee, both signers of the
Declaration of Independence coauthored the following:
"Congress recommends a day of...thanksgiving and praise so that the people may express the
grateful feelings of their hearts...and join...their prayers that it may please God, through the
merits of Jesus Christ, to forgive our sins enlarge His kingdom which consists in
righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost."

And in 1779, one Thomas Jefferson, then governor of Virginia, proclaimed on behalf of his state:
"I appoint...a day of public Thanksgiving to Almighty ask Him that He would...pour out
His Holy Spirit on all ministers of the Gospel; that He would...spread the light of Christian
knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth...and that He would establish these United
States upon the basis of religion and virtue."

Tomorrow: Thanksgiving becomes a national holiday

Sources: Smithsonian Information and
Thanksgiving and praise open in your consciousness the way for spiritual growth and
supply to come to you. Spirit pushes Itself out into visible manifestation as soon as a
channel is opened through which It can flow. You should be thankful for everything at
all times. Realize that all power to think, and speak, and act comes from God, and the
He is with you now, guiding and inspiring you.

Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952)
Hindu yogi and guru
Photo by Chuck Bowman
Father, Thy name our souls would bless,
As children taught by grace,
Lift up our hearts in righteousness
and joy before Thy face.

O Holy Father, keep us here
In that blest name of love,
Walking before Thee without fear
Till all be joy above.

Hymn # 25, verses 1 and 7,
From "Hymns for the Little Flock"
Bible Truth Publishers, 1881
In one of His aspects, a very touching aspect, the Lord may be
said to be a beggar. He yearns for our attention. The Master of
the Universe, at whose glance all stars, suns, moons, and
planets quiver, is running after man and saying: "Won't you give
Me your affection? Don't you love Me, the Giver, more than
things I have made for you? Won't you seek me?

But man says, "I am too busy now; I have work to do. I can't
take time to look for You." And the Lord says: "I will wait."

Paramahansa Yogananda
Photo by Stephen Bowman